Tag: ACT

The smart Indian student’s guide to getting into MIT

For over 150 years Massachusetts Institute of Technology has played a key role in science, technology, engineering and math-STEM education. This university is one of the world’s best institutes both in terms of academics and experience. Did you know? As of now, 95 Nobel laureates have been associated with MIT, what more do you need to prove its credibility.

MIT is considered synonymous with technology and innovation, and rightly so because this university started with a vision to address rapid scientific advances at the time of the industrial revolution. They aimed to provide a liberal and professional education, especially to transform innovative ideas into real-world businesses. Fun fact! The revenues of all the companies that were founded by MIT and its graduates would account for the 11th biggest economy in the world, and there are almost 200 countries today, go figure!

But before we get into how to get into MIT for international students, let’s take a look at who makes it to this top school.

Being one of the most highly selective colleges in the world, MIT’s acceptance rate is about 6.7%, and the number is even lower for international applicants. Out of thousands who apply, only 472 international students are accepted to MIT’s undergraduate program. And if you’re wondering about how to get into Massachusetts institute of technology for masters from India, the good news is that the numbers are slightly better.

There are 3,718 international students enrolled in degree programs at MIT—472 undergraduates (10.19%) and 2,945 graduate students (41.13%)—for the academic year 2021-2022. Additionally, there are 301 exchange, visiting, and special undergraduate and graduate international students on campus. (Source – MIT website)

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What are YOUR chances of getting into MIT? 

Have you taken the GMAT before?


At MIT, one thing is for sure that you’ll need amazing credentials not just academically, but also overall. You’ll need to be consistently among the top of your class, and also be recipients of other nationally- recognized awards and certifications like Olympiads. Apart from this, you’ll need to have a diverse and unique profile because MIT doesn’t just want smart students, they want leaders with a drive to change the world with their ideas. The question on the committee’s mind is, will you accomplish something great with your MIT degree? So, show them you can.

Now, how to get admission into MIT (USA) after 12th from India, and what are the requirements? Unlike a couple of other schools, this one has its own application portal called MyMIT, and you will be required to sign up to go ahead with your application.

1. About You

The first part of your application will include your personal details and identity. Being an international student, you will be required to describe your cultural background in short 150–250-word writeups. The essay question in this part is about how the world you come from has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

2. Application Cycle

Choose whether you want to apply early action or in the regular lot. While some schools have a higher acceptance rate for early applicants, both are about the same for MIT. The early action deadline is the 1st of November 2021, and for regular applications, it is 1st of January 2022.

3. Choice of field

Most students declare their major by the end of their freshman year, this part of the application is only to understand you, and you’re reasoning. If you are interested in engineering, talk about which field and why. The limit is 100 words, try to make your answer honest.

4. Coursework

MIT is primarily a STEM school. So, if like most students, your choice of major is in this field, you will be required to let them know if and when you’ve taken subjects such as Calculus, Physics, Chemistry, etc.

5. Test Scores

MIT has officially waived the SAT/ACT requirements for the 2021-2022 admission cycle. However, we recommend that you submit them as they prove your competence. Initially, students were required to submit SAT/ACT and two SAT subject scores along with an English proficiency test. Almost everyone who applies to MIT has near-perfect test scores, so aim to be in the same league.

Can I get into MIT with a 4.5 GPA? 

Have you taken the GMAT before?

6. Activities and Distinctions

You have space to list down 4 activities that mean the most to you. Additionally, you can talk about your scholastic and non-scholastic achievements but be sure to mention only the recent ones (9th grade and up). Throughout the application, there are provisions to write 200–250-word essays on anything else you want to tell them (including the disruptions from COVID-19), so be sure to use this space too.

7. Essays

MIT requires five short response essays (250 words max) to understand you as a person and find out what’s important to you. The topics could be anything from what you do for fun, how did you contribute to your community to the most difficult challenges you’ve faced and how you’ve overcome them.

8. Recommendations

You are required to submit two teacher evaluations, one from math or science and the other from the humanities or language domain. Additionally, a report from your school counselor is necessary too. Ask the teachers with whom you’ve had the best relationship because they are the ones that have watched you grow and can provide a proper recommendation.

If you also want to know that how can you get into MIT & it is your dream college? Trust us when we say it’s no cakewalk. This top-school only accepts the best of the best profiles, and while you might have great credentials, it also matters how you show it. Contact our counsellors for their advice on enhancing your application, so that it stands out while applying at MIT.

Check SAT Exam Dates

Big Questions: ACT vs SAT

Most colleges in the US give you a choice of examination. You can either give the SAT or the ACT, and most people have a thousand questions about each – does one of them help you in front of the Admissions Board at your chosen college? Which of them is ‘easier’? Which of them is ‘more scoring’?

The answer to all of these is, as most good answers are: It depends. On your skill set. Here are a few case studies from Jamboree‘s extensive history in coaching children for both the SAT and the ACT, and the advice we gave people in these cases. Do keep in mind that your situation is unique and that you should consult an expert before making your decision.

Tarini loves science and is really good at it. Her critical reasoning is good, but a little slow. We looked at Tarini’s case in detail and realized that her strong suit was her instinctive understanding of concepts and terms in science and that she did distinctively well on straightforward questions. Our advice to her was to take the ACT – and she came out with a great score, free from the pressure of having to complete an aptitude based exam in a tight time situation. She played to her strengths.

Shubham has always struggled with advanced Math, but his dream is to study writing abroad. Our advice to Shubham was a no-brainer. We understood that his aptitude was high; that he was able to do basic math. But trigonometry, for example, was a problem area for him, almost a mental block. Both the SAT and the ACT have a compulsory mathematics section, but the SAT definitely tests simpler concepts, though not necessarily in a more straightforward way. Since he was able to master basic math, the SAT was what his skills were better suited to, and that’s what he ended up succeeding at!

Bhuma struggles with writing. She is very quick at questions on her strong subjects but finds it difficult to maintain a coherent train of thought across a long passage. The ACT was almost made for her, because the writing section in the ACT is optional, unlike in the SAT, where it is a key component of your overall application. NOTE: Some colleges require an essay even if you give the ACT, so check your dream school requirements before taking advantage of the optional card.

Tahir doesn’t like time pressure. Given sufficient time, he can ace any test on the planet – ACT, SAT, anything. However, when he has less time allowed per question, he sometimes fumbles and makes mistakes that would never have happened, given time. We told him that the SAT was perhaps better for him. All other things being equal, the SAT affords you more time per question (both tests are approximately 200 minutes long; the ACT has about 40 more questions). Free of having to glance nervously at the clock every other minute, Tahir achieved a score most people only dream about.

John likes tests he can prepare for. When the syllabus is cut and dried and the questions are predictable, he does well. However, he does significantly less well when put in a strange situation that he has not encountered before. John is an example of a fairly common type of student – and our advice to these is always – go for the ACT. If your preparation is always perfect if your preparation outdoes your aptitude in an exam situation, you should go for the ACT. It’s an exam you can study for and improve at.

Similarly, we have seen many students who perhaps are not too comfortable with the conventional educational model of studying for tests, but who do brilliantly well in an exam that tests their innate smartness. These students should take the SAT.

ACT Exam: To Take or Not To Take?

The ACT is a computer-delivered test that is used for admission to undergraduate programs of universities and colleges in the US. It is designed to measure a student’s academic achievement with the help of five test components-Reading, Mathematics, English, Science and Writing(optional). The entire test lasts for 2 hours and 55 minutes without essay, and for 3 hours and 35 minutes if you choose to attempt the essay. ACT scores range from 1-36, in 1-point increments and are an average of the four compulsory test components.

A typical ACT question has four or five choices out of which one is correct. The difficulty level of questions asked is that of high school standard and most Indian students are comfortable with it. There is no negative marking for a wrong attempt so it makes sense to attempt all the questions. Take a look at ACT test format:

The ACT Test Format




Reading 40 35
Mathematics 60 60
English 75 45
Science 40 35
Writing (optional) 1 essay 40

Most students wonder whether they should take the ACT or not. All universities, including the famed Ivy League, accept ACT scores and do not discriminate between SAT and ACT scores. So, the answer depends on your personal preference, strengths and course choice.

Here are some pointers to help you decide whether you should take the ACT or not:

  1. Time Management

    A careful look at the ACT Test Format would reveal that the test taker has a minute or less to solve each question. While most questions are of an average difficulty level, some of the more difficult ones would be as much a test of your nerves, as they would be of your problem-solving methods. So, if you’re a person who stays calm under pressure and are well versed in time-saving methods and strategies, by all means go ahead and showcase your competence.

  2. College Requirement

    As stated before, almost all colleges in the US accept both SAT and ACT scores. Some colleges though require you to take 2 or more SAT Subject Tests along with the SAT. For some students, this can be stressful and cumbersome. In this respect, ACT is hassle-free; if you score well on this test, you don’t have to appear in any other test.

  3. Application Deadline

    Most Indian students apply under regular decision for the fall (September/October) intake of universities in the US. Ideally, you should be ready with your scores and your application essays nearly a year before (in November) so that you can send them within the application deadlines of the colleges that you’re interested in. Along with the SAT, you can also take the ACT in December to make the most of your last chance to apply for the fall session. Check out ACT test dates 2021-2022.

  4. Choice of Course

    As you may have noticed, ACT has a science section. Though the questions asked test your understanding of the science-based passage and don’t directly check your scientific knowledge, it helps to be familiar with a certain topic. For students with a science background, ACT is an excellent choice for applying to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) courses. However, many students with commerce and arts background also choose to take the ACT simply because it gives them an alternative opportunity to showcase their skills.

  5. Writing Skills

    ACT has a writing section which is optional. We do advise students to take this section. The writing section of the ACT gives you three different perspectives and asks you to evaluate them and state your own opinion. If you are good at debates and can back up your opinion with convincing examples, you stand a chance to excel this section.

    If you are still in doubt, we recommend that you take both SAT and ACT, and then send the better score to your college of choice. Good luck!